Paul Cezanne wrote “Optics, developing in us through study, teach us to see”. This statement by a French Post-Impressionist painter helps us realize the potency of this field of Physical Sciences in our world. The Cambridge dictionary defines optics as “The Study of light and of instruments using light”. Since light and the adroit applications of it surround us pretty much throughout our existence, we may find no harm to conclude to the fact that our survival has a directly proportional relationship with optics.
06:00 AM, Time to wake up, but wait how do you know its 6??? With the biggest round of applause you’ve ever made, please welcome Optics to showcase its grandeur to this game of life. The first measurement of time used sun and an object’s shadow, which is the most basic optics and optical property, and even the standard definition of second has amount of radiation emitted which is measured using devices working on optical knowledge. Checking ourselves if we look as dapper and stylish as the society expects us, in the mirror is reflection. Driving to work and observing the street lights on the way which produce lights of different wavelengths for our convenience is using optics. Glancing at the side mirrors which have “OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR” embedded over it is a phenomenal use of convex mirror to fit most of the vehicles behind into itself. It doesn’t limit itself to our personal life only.
Sectors like Education, Industry, Security and Defense, Technology, Entertainment, Management and specific studies on various subjects like Microbiology, Oceanography, Osteology and many more have rested the hands on Optics. Education, Most of the disciplines whether it is engineering and basic sciences using lasers, mirrors, lenses, gratings, optical fibers extensively in the experiments and inventions, or Medical sciences, where optical fibers are used to illuminate areas of body which are inaccessible, or Humanities, where historians and archaeologists use lasers to scan and date an artifact. Industrial, Heavy usage of optical fibers for long distance communication. Security, Border defense uses radars,CCTV cameras to record and holograms to optically store, retrieve and process information. Management, which requires projectors and laser pointers at presentations, Entertainment using optical illusions in movies and magic shows. Name it and optics has got you covered.
All of us, have taken the basic course of Optics in school. The study of Physics is an insipid story without a symposium on optics. Wave Optics is often credited as the origin of Quantum Mechanics which is a revolutionary model. Photonics and Optics are at the apex on the bailiwicks of modern researchers. The 2012,2014,2018 Nobel Prizes in Physics are from optics. Supercontinuum Lasers, Optical Tweezers are the recent developments in this field.
Since optics deals with Light and the speed of light is the fastest existing phenomenon, we should believe that this speed has helped Optics justify the appellation for itself as the “FINEST and GREATEST”.
Credits: Shivam Kumar, IIT Patna
Blog Writing Competition 2020
Laser Turns 60 - International Day of Light Celebration
SPIE Student Chapter Annual Fest